Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary-plenty for kids to learn!

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We love animals.Let me just say it again:We Love Animals and what we love more is to see them where they belong-in their native surroundings, not in a Zoo. There are thousands of incredible places on earth that are built as beautiful natural habitats for wild animals. We have been to a few but the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Gold Coast in Australia is amongst our very favourite ones!

Located very conveniently near the Gold Coast Airport, this is the place every local and every tourist absolutely must visit. This is the place where you can feed a lorikeet, safely pat a kangaroo, observe a crocodile and have a photo taken with a koala.Stop here and be warned!-once you have held a koala, you will not want to give it back, they are too cuddly!

This is the world of rarest australian animals such as dingoes and tasmanian devils. Don’t be too fooled by their adorable looks, these two are quite dangerous in the wild. Tassie devil is capable of tearing any size of meat piece into tiny shredds but will not touch ibises-aparently, those birds don’t taste too good, so that’s the only live specie(apart from the keepers) that can safely enter the devil’s hub without being torn apart.

This is the place where children learn how the injured animals are cared for in the Sanctuary’s own vet clinic.All donations and a huge portion of everything you pay for there,go to the clinic so be sure you give back a little.

The things that we enjoyed doing there:

  1. Fed a bunch of cutest most colourful birds on the planet-Lorikeets. They are friendly enough when it comes to landing on a delicious plate with a yummy nectar but if you try to pat one while it eats-you’d better watch your fingers! I got two deep marks to prove that no one likes to share food, neverherless, we enjoyed their closeness very much. The nectar is a special mix of essential nutrients that these birds need to nourish,blended with water. Delicious!

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2. We met a lovely volunteer lady that took us around the red kangooroo inclosure. She told us many interesting facts about them along with some funny(and not so)stories.While they can look friendly and fluffy there are some common sense rules everyone needs to follow when interacting with kangaroos: like always kneeling down to offer food to them, that move ensures that they also bending to the ground.This simpe technic makes them more vulnerable, less prone to self-defence if anything happens. If you are approaching a baby joey make sure you know where the mum is-she is sure watching you! Although the majority of animals look cute, they all are wild-natured and born with a heck of a set of self-protection skills.

Baby kangaroo at Sanctuary Wildlife

3. We rode on a train around the park. When you start feeling tired or kids are getting fussy, the best thing is to catch a train! Jump on and enjoy.The relaxing ride will simply restore your energy or take you to the next place you  want to visit in the Sanctuary. Sometimes we ride just to have a second look around the park just to make sure we haven’t missed anything or to get to a different show.

4. We watched the Free Flight Bird Show. Now, this is the most amazing show you can see and certainly very educational. A few majestic Australian native birds are involved even a crow! Actually, the crow steals the show at the end with its smart witty manners.

5. We watched a koala sleeping with the baby attached to its tummy.Awwww..there is the time when you want to pause,breath in the fresh air,enjoy the nature at its best.The perfect scene-a mum and a baby cuddle to sleep,very peaceful and so natural. Koalas sleep up to 18 hours a day,lucky them! They also love eating eucalyptus leaves all the time they are awake.All sorts of leaves, not just one but about 51 different types and can be quite picky!

baby koala

6. We went inside the birds ovaries, there are a few of them to explore. Hear the cheerful chirping and you know exactly where you are! All sorts of birds:small birds,large birds,and medium too. Noisy and quiet birds.Colourful and not so.

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7. We stopped at the Wildlife Hospital for injured animals to see how they are looked after and give some money towards their treatment and upkeeping. Did you know the most prone to injuries animal in Australia? Yes, it is a cuddly koala. They are very often get hit by a car while crossing in the dark, attacted by a dog or a wild cat, get struck with an epidemic disease or die from the bushfires.

Numerous other great entertaining shows are very well scheduled and suitable for both small children through to adults, they are fun and educational for all ages.

8. We got our adrenalin rush fixed with a Segway ride. Not only you will get your own tour guide that will train you to ride a Segway, he will also take you around the Sanctuary and tell the facts about every animal that is kept there. That is worth every penny! Now, this particular activity has the age and weight restrictions plus in some places it gets quite hilly,so be prepared to steer your way around other tourists,gates and animals.

Segway tour

*all photos are genuine ours. * this post is not sponsored by or affiliated with the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

 

 

How to turn a boring walk into an exciting excursion-in your own backyard.

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What a blessed year it has been..blessed living in Paradise…literally..The Paradise Point of the Gold Coast, the place that totally lives up to its name. Every morning in our household is a walk time, it is a habit turned into a family tradition.Just the three of us: mum, son and their dog.

The Spring  has officially arrived with the mornings being nothing less than magical, as the summer heat and humidity aren’t here yet.. When you get outside way before the usual work-school traffic buzz, it feels like you have the whole planet to yourself.

Yesterday was like any other day.. The sunshine was in a full swing when we left the house  and a mild spring temperature promised a lovely breezy day ahead.. First thing I noticed: the water was incredibly clear- it was a good sign. 20160924_123805-a

So clear you could see the sun reflecting in it… Magical! 20160926_082804-a

The sunshine and sea breeze feel naturally relaxing, they are a part of my daily routine -that is the beauty of living on a sunny coast.

There was nothing special about our walk yesterday, except for one thing- we didn’t stop where we usually would…instead we kept walking..way and far beyond our regular point.. just to find there was no end of the end.. The beach line looked endless.How could we not notice that before???

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There is more to the beach than the water and sand. There is a native beauty that can be found where no one is looking.. native trees, birds, water plants and even mud. My favorite tree in Australia- the mangrove that is called a “tree that walks”. It literally looks like it walks out of water and makes its way to a nice shady spot. Just check those feet(the tree I am talking about).Pure magic!

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Our dog thinks the red sea grass looks amazing but…creepy.

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Sometimes among the dry sandy deserted bush land you will meet a little miracle- a young green sprout that has given all it had to break through adversity and survive equally. Australian flora is so diverse, it surprises you everywhere you look.

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It is in a human being power to turn routinely boring things that we do every day into something exciting, adventurous.. Simply becoming a tourist in your own town for a day or just a couple of hours will make you look at those boring things from a different perspective.

So next time you go for your daily walk or run -stop,pause,breathe and go exploring.Let’s see what you can find  in your backyard?

Great tips on dining out with your baby(and still enjoying yourself).

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What can be more exciting than watching your baby grow? As she is growing, you start feeling like going out again even if it is a simple family dinner.Those pre-baby times when dining out wasn’t such a big deal,when you didn’t have to think how many wet wipes you put in your bag,seemed so unreal after having a baby,like they happened in a different life or with someone else.When babies come, they change our lives forever-for the best. All those emotions that we experience when doing things for the first time with a new baby are normal. So time has come and you are ready to go out and take your baby out? No problem.

Here are a few tips on how to make the whole process not only easier but also enjoyable(for all of you).

  1. Know your baby routine. In other words, the right timing plays the biggest part here. You won’t wait til you get really hungry to go out, would you? You know that if your tummy doesn’t get fed in time, it will sure let you and those around you know. How do you feel when you are late with your meal-cranky, jumpy,snappy? Do expect your baby to feel exactly the same. His feeding time is your navigation-take him when he is happy, after he had a nap and a snack. He will be more happy to wait for his big meal and play at the table when he is contented.
  2. Be prepared for delays. Meaning- choose carefully which night is the best to go out.Make sure it’s not a public holiday, sport game night or an event that can be happening locally. When you planned your evening carefully, there is a very slight chance for delaying to occur.
  3. Look for kids friendly restaurants that do tolerate a little more noise or is ok with breastfeeding(bottle-feeding). With a toddler or a young child, is there a play room that is safe and close to family size tables? If you have tried a few diners already and chosen the place you liked, be sure to make friends with staff so next time they will accommodate you the best they can.
  4. Invest into a multi-functional baby bag like the one that transforms into a booster seat and has an option of a portable change station-they are life and money savers and are great for children that can seat unsupported(6 months+). No high chairs available? No problem. Who wants to deal with germs left from other babies anyway ? Babies that are seated on a booster seat close to a family table are less likely to get bored,constantly seek for attention or throw a tantrum. Why? Because they feel more included, being within a close circle, belong to the pack-that is a form of attachment parenting on its own. It can’t get better if you invest into the bag that turns into a booster seat and a changing station-no need to worry about placing your bub on a cold change room counter -simply unfold your bag, carefully taking the stuff out and placing it in a shell that is provided inside.This is a good reason for not needing to bring a pram, if the bub gets tired-you can simply lay him down in the bag’s bassinet position whereever it is safe and well supervised. Check this awesome Baby Bag here

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5. Don’t worry about packing a kitchen sink. Take a spare set of clothes for the bub, a few wet wipes( I am sure you can find a rest room with water in a worst case of things), baby bottle or his food depending on the age, a couple of nappies(or inserts if you use modern cloth nappies, disposable or easy-to-clean bib, a muslin wrap for breastfeeding and burping.

6. Have a new toy or two at each visit . For those, simply dash into your local dollar shop, there are plenty of options for inexpensive toys like travel size baby books, sticker charts, cell phones, matchbox cars etc. Keep away from balls unless you like frequent running,squatting and bending. Make sure they stay well hidden in your bag and watch your baby’s face as you pulled them out.Priceless!

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7. Make the first meal outing short as a test run and see how everything goes. In places like cafes and restaurants where loud noises and people are unavoidable,some babies might get anxious, some over-stimulated, some bored and some tired-you need to follow your baby’s signs. It is also wise to pick a daytime like a breakfast or brunch as the first time, you both can have a good snooze afterwards.

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How to survive a trip to Canton Fair( and other fun facts about travelling to China)

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Alright, “survive” is probably a harsh word here. When I was planning the trip, I didn’t think I needed to “survive” it. I was excited to go, so maybe I should really rephrase the heading into something like” How to plan your Canton Fair Trip” or “What to expect at Canton fair”. But I won’t. Leaving it as it is will give you a little more down-to-reality perspective as it is not going to be your usual fun-filled holiday( although, I don’t say you can’t mix business with pleasure!)
I am so glad I went.. and survived it as you have guessed by now. It was a hell of an experience- in a very good sense. It was massive, tiresome, exciting, interesting, eye-opening, mouth-dropping adventure. If you have been to a fair or exhibition before, well, let’s just say-double or triple the size.

Here are the three things I discovered were most important to bring along on the trip:
1. A good Phrasebook- despite of all my readiness( I have managed to study the language for a few months)- my basic speaking skills remained too basic
2. All places we intended to visit written in Chinese ready to be handed out to taxi or bus drivers, hotel staff, train officers etc.
3. Printout of places to dine in the area (haha, no I didn’t have that one but, oh man, I wish I had!) Expectation over reality! To find those places visit Trip Advisor page and type in Guangzhou

The three things to watch for in China:

1. Fake notes- shock for foreigners, normal part of a daily life for locals
2. Careless Taxi drivers- if not given detailed instruction, they drop you off at any proximity of your end destination-you might end up walking another block
3. Tap water- never and I repeat it, never drink water from the tap! Bottled water is very affordable

Here are my 10 Tips on anything and everything:

1. Travelling light. By saying that, I don’t mean that bringing a pair of socks and undies will do. For our ten-day trip we packed three sets of clothes and honestly, could do with more, because we also took an overnight return train ride between two provinces, so a spare set would be handy. But for one week visit, three sets of good clothes should be sufficient. After all, it is China, might as well go shopping! Remember, you are going to the biggest Fair in the world,with a potential of finding the right supplier and closing a deal of the century- then look like a professional! So many foreigners walk around the complex looking like they just got off a plane-could be true,yes-but seriously, since when it is OK to show up in a casual tee and a pair of short shorts to a business meeting?

I also had my small trolley case that served the purpose of a on-board carry bag, everywhere with me-saved me so much trouble of needing to carry things, as I was given brochures, business cards and other useful information from right, left and center.

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 2. Learning about the culture. Because that is a huge part of this country. That’s what sets them apart. Following traditions, table manners, greeting gestures, business etiquette is what Chinese appreciate seeing in foreigners. Doesn’t matter from which angle you look at it, but we are still considered strangers until we do business with them for a while and earn their trust-after that we can be best friends! Chinese in majority is a very family-oriented nation, so when anybody trying to enter their close circle, at first is perceived as an intruder. Respecting it will typically serve a good deal and help establish the trust between the parties which will let you in the close circle faster ,easier and hopefully, for good.

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 3.Studying the language. Official language in Guangzhou is Mandarin. Investing in a pocket-size phrasebook from Lonely Planet- a well designed two way dictionary-was what saved my life at every occasion. If you think you will be able to freely communicate your needs in English-think twice, you are up for a big surprise. As long as Chinese culture goes, they still believe that their country is in the center of the Earth(China literally means The Middle Land). An average citizen has no need to learn English, doesn’t see a foreigner very often and is very comfortable with his own language. Of course, if you have extra cash to splash around, by all means, do it -go get an interpreter. We found that everything was doable, challenging but doable. Like memorizing simple phrases that are used daily: “Hello. Thank you. How much. Take me to this hotel. I want this. I want that.” If I can remember them, so can you! Do not be discouraged by an uneasy pronunciation, no one expects you to be fluent.

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4.Getting to and from the Fair Complex and generally around the city.

You have probably already heard how ridiculously cheap Taxi in China is. And it sure is but be vigilant – as a foreigner you are such a treat to them. When catching a cab, ask the driver to turn a meter on, unless you two will agree on a set price, generally it still is very cheap and he will get a little bonus for the day. Turning a meter on will not guarantee you the shortest way to your destination, most probably you will still end up paying more. Always, and I mean always have all your destinations written in Chinese. On your phone, using Maps or whatever App you use for planning journeys, map out your trips and do a screenshot of every one of them. Typically, the names of streets, Malls, hotels etc will be written in both Chinese and English. That is what is going to save you a big headache and some money. When it comes to public transport I, personally, love using Metro. It feels safe and fair. You only pay what everyone has to pay-no arguing, no bargaining. And it still is the easiest and cheapest way around-yes, all stations are written in English and there is a language option on the Ticket Machine. The peak hours can be a bit off-putting, in the morning after 9 am is typically a good time to travel.

Now, remember I mentioned careless taxi drivers. This is what I mean. In their eyes you are rich and dumb- don’t be offended, blame TV- look, if you can’t say a word in Chinese, so tell me why wouldn’t it make sense to rip you off for the hell of it? There are plenty of suspicious taxi drivers that hang around the Fair Complex waiting for visitors to start heading back to their hotels etc-just to charge them a triple price. OK, it is still pretty cheap compared to Australian prices but..! as I kept walking toward the road waiving to another Taxi driving past (they are always on a look-out), I got to the hotel as cheap as I could manage.

Can’t mention Rickshaw services here. Very unexpectedly, we got the most honest driver(he was a bit of a poser too) that charged us only 1 RMB(Yuan) per person-that is 0.20 cents AUD. Definitely, highly recommend to get a ride plus it is a very fun way to get your shopping done. Locals use it frequently, it is that cheap.

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  1. Eating out and street food.

I noted above to never drink tap water, not even if you are dying.. or have a superb Insurance company that won’t let you die when you can’t afford to pay hospital fees. Ok, food is a bit different to water, it is actually cooked, mostly fried. Hygiene is what is left to your own judgement -try it at your own risk but some stuff is just asking to jump in your mouth. I guess, one that doesn’t risk, doesn’t drink Champagne( very famous saying in Russia). That is your Street food.

When it comes to dining in, well, that was not what we expected. Majority cafes, restaurants of eateries serve local foods, which doesn’t necessary mean “awesome Chinese you get to take away from your local restaurant in your country”. Guangzhou is famous for being the best place to eat in China. That is if you know exactly where to go (Trip Advisor). Alternatively, there are Western style restaurants available-for specifically fussy eaters- and according to the picture below, that’s what we eat looks like to them(genuine photo taken by me).

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  1. Using toilets in public places. 

Wow, OK, why would anyone need an instruction for that? Travel is all about fun, right, and you will  find hardly anything funnier than public toilets in China..or some absence of those just when you need them. First rule: you absolutely must have a pack of tissues in your pocket everywhere you go! If you think you are going to get toilet paper in a public toilet, well.. don’t blame me for not warning you! At Canton Fair Complex toilets are not that bad, quite clean and with a toilet paper supply. There are two types: squatters(you’d better hope your knees aren’t playing up) and a normal western seat. I heard lots of people whinging about the squatters but to me(remember, I told you I was from Russia) they are made with your health in mind. Haha, No, not really, they are just old type that has never been replaced. First, you get to do squats( isn’t it great, considering you are out of your normal exercise routine while holidaying).Second, you sure won’t get any transmitting disease from seating your butt on God knows where someone just sat- that is 1:0 in the squat seat favor. I always make sure that when I flush the squatter I run out the door at the same time(LOL they don’t have lids).

  1. Standing our grounds at the hotel.

Here is a good lesson for you. We decided to save a bit of cash and live it up in a not that far away hotel- it honestly was not far away at all, a short walking distance to the major road that would take us across Pearl River to the Complex. The hotel itself was an excellent value with its great location, very clean, a lovely spacious room and breakfast included, oh and with Canton Tower view! Our room was booked for the three of us(our 11-year old was apparently free of charge but they expected him to pay for breakfast??) but the breakfast vouchers were only given to two guests as the room had only two beds..hmmm.. really,they didn’t seem to reject the third person while booking for more than two people for that room? So I pointed it out at the reception and despite of the language barrier we were handed another set of vouchers, I think because the receptionist decided to save himself a drama.  Now, here is the good news- if you have not paid for your stay upfront – go ahead and ask for a discount-everything is negotiable in China, even hotel services, that is if you can express yourself clear enough for the staff to understand.

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  1. Eating at Canton Fair.

There is a huge hall downstairs with a long line of food counters. When we first walked in, we got excited as it seemed that we had different meal options. With the closer look though we found that the food was exactly the same at every one of them. Unfortunately, it was not your awesome fresh cooked meal, this stuff actually came in prepacked containers, not so freshly prepared and not so tasty. On the positive side, every meal included a bottle of water. In the next hall we discovered McDonalds which absolutely saved our day. I am really ashamed to even say that aloud(leave alone writing about it!)but we did eat at Maccas-and I would never even touch that stuff back home! A few coffee shops upstairs were a good option too, they offered snacks, sandwiches,coffee and seemed to be popular for closing business deals.Be prepared to pay a double price.

  1. Fake Money anyone ???

How do I put this.. OK, we all are grownups here so I am just saying it as it is. Fake notes, especially those of a higher denominations, are at a real risk of being counterfeit. Did I know that prior to our journey? Nope and nope! The best practice to adopt is to exchange the currency at the Currency exchange points(at the airport or a hotel).Is it more expensive? Of course it is! To exchange $50 AUD at the airport, we paid $10 AUD in fees! Is it safer? Yes, 99,9%(why not 100%?- if you don’t personally check every note yourself, nothing is guaranteed). Is it possible to get cash out at ATMs and still receive fakes? Yes, 100% possible. But less chance. Every time you get a change from cash, check the notes there and there to avoid nasty surprises. By the way, love their ATMs, they truly are a state of art-see the pic below. This one is 24/7 at China Bank branch: you walk in, the door automatically locks from the inside- you are safe from burglars, unfortunately not from fake money.

 

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  1. Preparing for the fun.

Oh, yes and a lot of it! Canton Fair is set up to enjoy the experience, have fun and build strong connections. If you are there strictly to make a deal of your life and bow out, in this case for you it will be cheaper to stay home and do everything over the Internet.

This is what I brought with me: a stack of business cards and a good attitude. Oh and  my phone had a Global Sim Card already installed. You can get a Local Sim Card at the Fair- there is a stand near every entry. The most popular Social App used in China is WhatsApp. They love connecting via this App,I found it quite handy for communicating with our supplier, they always keep me updated on things before I even get to check my Inbox for their emails. The downside: Facebook and Google are non-existent (they are prohibited in China) but there are third-part Apps you can download to be able to log into your accounts. Of course, we were not aware of that and founded out about those sneaky Apps by the end of our trip.. until then I couldn’t figure out why my Facebook and Google were not loading.( I felt so lost without both of them- my whole business is on FB and my whole communication life is in my Gmail and I am not even mentioning Google Maps for finding our way around!!!) See, I wasn’t that well prepared. This is why I have written this blog so that you can save yourself some troubles. Most definitely I expected a few hiccups-after all, what sort of adventure it is without them-but some major hiccupsutumuses that we encountered -SOS!- I’d rather have someone telling me about them before I went!

Conclusion

So what will you get from the trip to Canton Fair?

The best part will be discovering of new innovative products and even getting to play with them!Despite of the obvious language barrier, you will make good connections and maybe even score the best price for your product as being a genuine and loyal customer.
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What was the worst part of our journey? 

Smoking. Coming from a very health-conscious country, this was where my patience ended.. Even if you never smelled a cigarette smoke before in your life, you will get plenty of it here and it’s everywhere. Despite of obvious NO SMOKING signs obligatorily displayed where they were supposed to in public places,locals seemed to think that did not apply to them. That was a huge party plan spoiler for us. We love clean air and really wanted to wake up to a smell of fresh linen or a coffee brew rather than a terrible asthma-triggering stink floating in the air.

*Disclaimer: all photos here are genuine and were taken by me or my family.

6 great reasons you want to invest in Blackout Blinds.

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Baby sleeping and napping are the most talked about and searched topics. We all want our babies and older children to take longer unbroken sleep, right? Better your child sleeps, better his mood will be. Simple. It has been proven that bubs who nap well during daytime, tend to have well night sleeps too. Doesn’t this sound magical? There are a few essential baby products you will have to invest in but there is one gear that seems to be overlooked or deemed inessential. Really? Did you know that one of the major sleep hormones, Melatonin is only secreted during darkness, and this is the hormone that helps to get to sleep and to stay asleep?  We don’t like to sleep in a noisy room-neither do babies.We find it hard to fall asleep in a well-lite room-babies do too!  This is when a set of Blackout Blinds come very handy. Unless you have a child that sleeps,eats and poops like in the “Your baby routine”book(then you are very lucky, so much savings on stuff that majority of us,frustrated mums end up buying!), trust me you will soon be looking for solutions.

Here are 6 great reasons why you will want to invest in Blackout Blinds:

  1. Amazing light blockage that can work wonders. Made with Premium Blackout material. Excellent for those annoying daylight saving periods in your region. Arrggh !! My son was 2 when we moved to Sydney, that was when I first experienced the daylight savings nightmare (after having a child).To tell that I wasn’t impressed is to say nothing at all.  I can not even describe how terrified I felt every time we had to adjust our clock! My toddler and sleep didn’t match well in the best of times so I had to look for various ways to keep him in his room. Now, I didn’t know the Blackout Blinds even existed, did I? Because no one wrote a blog about them like the one you are reading right now.
  2. No installation required and they can fit to any window(could be some weird exceptions of course)- you just buy a size you think you might use best and if needed, cut it to your desire. The only tool you will need is scissors. Suction cups typically provided in a kit, attach to a glass easily,therefore can be removed the same way without leaving  visible marks-a huge plus for when you live away from home.
  3. They are 100% PORTABLE! That is the exact reason why this product landed in My Store! Take them anywhere with you: family holidays, short trips,weekend getaways, sleep overs or  long-term travels. In unfamiliar surroundings your baby will ( this is guaranteed as I have traveled enough with my son!) find it difficult to settle instantly into a peaceful rest.
  4. These blinds guarantee the complete blackout in the room that no dark curtains can offer.They stick to the actual window glass itself, there is no chance for a single sunbeam to sneak through whereas curtains look great as a decoration and for little added darkness.Imagine that- no more annoying creeping light in the morning!
  5. The outer side of the blinds is heat reflecting- that makes them perfect for Australian climate. Or any tropical destination that you plan to take your family to.So the result is they keep the room cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
  6. No hanging parts- totally baby-proof. What would you pay for a peace of mind?

easy blinds

Why not every country does the egg hunting on Easter.

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Happy Easter to you and your family!

What a beautiful holiday it is and a great chance for families to get together and for children to go on a egg hunt or other exciting activities. In every country, there are different traditions to celebrate Easter, in some they are more fascinating and history-oriented than in others.
For example, in my motherland Russia, Easter is the second important celebration of the year after New Year and Christmas(note, it is the right consequence) . It holds so much beautiful history that travels all the way back to the end of the 10th century! We do colored eggs(real chicken eggs hard-boiled and dyed in various color instances-red is mostly predominant- to give them that pretty look, then we might also let children to decorate for a nice finish). These eggs serve two purposes. First, they are very pretty to decorate the house during the holiday. The main reason though is to play a traditional game when two players hold eggs, then hit them against each other. Whoever’s egg survived is a winner. The loser with an cracked shell has to eat his( too bad if you are not fond of boiled eggs!). The winner is believed to receive a good luck.

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We bake a special savory bread that is called Paskha(which is literally translated as Easter) which also known as Kulich.

As you might have noticed, there are no signs for any chocolate eggs, bunnies or anything else sweet. That doesn’t mean our children are not to have any treats on Easter, it simply is not among the traditions.

Just like Christmas, Easter is the day of abundant food.The morning starts from visiting neighbors and family and giving away Easter eggs. And, of course, the old Russian tradition of Easter is to send and deliver gifts to poor families, relatives and strangers, orphanages, hospitals and prisons.

While the egg hunting and candy consuming is norm in Western countries such as Australia or USA, it might look odd to an outsider. Every country practices its own unique celebrations. Nevertheless, we brought up following different traditions, the main belief -and you would agree with me on that-that rabbits and eggs symbolize fertility and rebirth is what therefore makes us mix so well together.

How to survive a flight with a baby

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Do you think your travel life is over once you became a parent ? Not so!

If you ask me, it doesn’t really matter whether you are a first-time mum or a serial traveler, I can almost guarantee- you are going to stress even thinking of traveling with a baby or a young child for the first time.. And I can almost guarantee that all this horrible thinking is nothing but your imagination.. and a waste of time. You will be totally FINE!

For me, first time happened when my son just three months old. And guess what..? He had so much fun and an ice cream! What..??? A baby eating an ice cream??  Well.. yeah,call me a bad mother but the flight attendants gave everyone on board a free ice cream including my kiddo. Well, thought I, it really was a special occasion so why not make it fun? Needless to say,only a couple of hours ago I was freaking out, frantically packing “all” baby necessities into his brand new nappy backpack. Did I pack it all, you ask? Ha, yes all and above. So here I am going to share with you a few simple steps of surviving the flight with your baby.

Hold on tight. We are going to start with some packing tips.

my little bundle of joy is all snuggled up and cosy in between our seats

1. Double check with your airline for a baby baggage allowance, especially if it’s an overseas trip. Good airlines realize that babies don’t come for free and actually need more stuff than we do.So do yourself a favor and invest in a good nappy bag. Then stock it WELL. Most airlines will let you bring your own handbag alongside so you can organize your personal belongings a bit better.

2. Restriction on liquids is something you need to be aware of. Don’t take the whole bottle of a baby bum cream as it most probably will end up in a bin. You are only allowed a small 100 mls container. Save yourself time and have it ready in a clear plastic bag to display at security checking in. Again, regulations do change, so plan ahead and get well informed. These restrictions don’t apply for your baby food or milk.

3. Take extra baby stuff in case of emergencies and flight delays. They most probably are not going to happen but please do save yourself a headache! Those items you can pack away in your check-in language before boarding-no need to carry doubles!

4. Your most important LIST-carry-on baby lagguage:

  • Wet wipes-absolutely essential
  • Nappies-bamboo disposables are best option in this case
  • A dummy and a spare
  • Baby’s sheet or favourite blankie, the smell is familiar and comforting
  • Muslin wraps and Muslin wipes- best things ever invented! Great for:swaddling to sleep, comforting with the familiar smell, using as a cover if you breastfeed, wiping etc
  • A favourite toy and a new one-something new is always entertaining
  • Spare clothes for spills and a couple of bibs for feeding and burping
  • Formula, milk or solids-whatever stage your baby is at

Optional if needed: a baby spoon if on solids, a baby book, nappy sacks and a Baby Shusher(after all, we all need a good sleep!). Keep in mind that food and beverages are available for young children on board.

 What you will need to remember:

1. Look after yourself well. There will be a few germs on board. Follow your regular hygiene,use antibacterial wipes for yourself and everything around and your bub.

2. Once on board, you can start organizing your belongings,keep everything for the bub within your reach.

3. Ask for help when needed! People generally love babies, just not the ones that cry all through the flight so make sure it’s not yours-keep him well entertained or snuggled to sleep.

4. Breastfeed or bottle-feed your little cherub on take off and landing, this will generally distract him from the uncomfortable ear popping.

5. If it’s a long journey,choose an overnight flight that won’t interfere with your baby’s routine.

Most important point is coming right now….Wait for it…

                                                          HAVE FUN!

    We’ve arrived. Hello Gold Coast!